Nike is experiencing some backlash following the cancellation of its “Fourth of July” Air Max 1. The pair was scheduled to come out this week in celebration of the patriotic holiday. Governor of Arizona Doug Ducey took to Twitter earlier this morning to voice his “disappointment at this terrible decision.”
This special colorway of the Air Max 1, like many shoes over the years, was dressed in the colors of the American flag to celebrate Independence Day. Its main detail was a Colonial-era Betsy Ross flag embroidered on the heel. Regardless of Nike’s intentions, backlash began growing when official images of the sneaker surfaced online.
One of those who voiced their displeasure was former NFL quarterback-turned-social activist, and endorsee of the Swoosh, Colin Kaepernick. According to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, he reached out to Nike, and insisted they pull the sneaker because the Betsy Ross flag represents a time in American history when slavery still existed.
“Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism,” wrote Ducey in a thread on Twitter addressing his frustrations with the decision.
The brand’s decision to pull the shoe has also already led to some financial loss, in Arizona at least. Ducey would go on to announce that Nike’s cancelation caused him to contact the Arizona Commerce Authority, and withdraw any funding that was tied to the company’s future move to the city of Goodyear, a major announcement he initially said was scheduled to take place today.
The sportswear giant had plans to open a multi-million dollar manufacturing plant in Goodyear. It would have reportedly provided 505 full-time manufacturing jobs to the city. Operations were expected to start in 2020.
Ducey concluded his rant by encouraging children to research Betsy Ross. “It shouldn’t take a controversy over a shoe for our kids to know who Betsy Ross is. A founding mother. Her story should be taught in all American schools. In the meantime, it’s worth googling her.”
While Nike has yet to react to Ducey’s decision, the lack of financial incentives from the state could lead the Swoosh to abandon its initial plans to expand manufacturing in Arizona. A similar situation occurred back in February when Amazon canceled its plans to erect a corporate headquarters in New York City after it was decided the tech giant did not deserve nearly $3 billion in financial incentives for the project.
READ MORE: Complex.com
Article Courtesy of Complex
First Picture Courtesy of SOPA Images and Getty Images
Second Picture Courtesy of G Fiume and Getty Images
First and Second Tweet Courtesy of Twitter and Complex